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NPI report stresses need for partnerships

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The fourth-annual report released by the Northern Policy Institute earlier this fall puts the spotlight on the importance of partnerships and collaboration, as NPI builds on its work to inspire new ideas and identify opportunities that will lead to stronger, more sustainable communities across Ontario's northern regions.

“Our ongoing focus on partnerships and collaboration resulted in nine research reports, 13 commentaries, three briefing notes, one interactive map, and one community data program,” said NPI president and CEO Charles Cirtwill.

"All evidence based. All in the name of growing sustainable communities in Northern Ontario.

“Our work on a basic income guarantee, indigenous control of indigenous education, and innovative local governance models has pushed the envelope on new thinking, and put Northern Ontario authors, experts, and innovators in the forefront of policy discussions throughout the province,” Cirtwill added.

In the 2016-17 year, NPI worked with partners to provide access to current and public baseline information via the Northern Projections Human Capital Series, Community Labour Market Report Series, the Northern Ontario Infrastructure map, and the Northern Ontario Data Consortium (NODC), a membership-based program making it easier to access social and economic statistical data at the community level.

NPI's October, 2016 conference and subsequent outreach around a basic income guarantee pilot in Ontario is a great example of NPI's leadership on timely policy issues, not only in Northern Ontario but provincially and nationally.

Conference attendees of diverse backgrounds heard presenters speak to six new perspectives on a B.I.G., drawing in more than 165 participants both online and in person, and attracting significant local, regional, and national media attention.

In addition, NPI opened up the dialogue for bold conversations, publishing 34 Policy Bytes (blogs) while providing more than 20 presentations throughout Northern Ontario on issues such as shifting demographics, labour markets, and other regional and district economic measures.

Highlights of research reports and commentaries released this year for NPI include:

  • “Economic Zones of Northern Ontario” by Charles Conteh (published in April, 2017);
  • “Value for Money? The Effect of Sudbury's 2001 Amalgamation on Municipal Expenditures” by James Cuddy (published in July, 2016);
  • “Governance in Northern Ontario: Taking Ownership of the Future” by David MacKinnon (published in September, 2016); and
  • “After the Healing: Safeguarding Northern Nishnawbe First Nations High School Education” by Paul W. Bennet (published in November, 2016).

“Anyone living in Northern Ontario knows the unique challenges our communities face,” said NPI chair Martin Bayer.

"We know that our realities and experiences are very different than the challenges faced by the rest of the province.

“Since we started our work in 2013, we have been guided by the input of everyday people of Northern Ontario,” he added.

"This year has been no different.

“Our work and focus on policies that are relevant to Northern Ontario has resulted in a larger impact than we've ever seen before,” Bayer noted.

To view the NPI's fourth-annual report, visit www.northernpolicy.ca

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